In response to complaints about noise by some local residents, Gatwick has commissioned an independent review of air traffic, which will initially focus on arrivals from the west.
The review will be led by Bo Redeborn who was previously Principal Director of Air Traffic Management at EUROCONTROL, the pan-European air traffic management organisation.
After the former MP Sir John Major stepped into the row earlier this year, Sir Roy McNulty Chairman of Gatwick said they were willing to look again at the policy which resulted in complaints from householders living under the flight path.
Mr Redeborn will be assisted by a small independent review team which has been tasked with ensuring the involvement of the local communities most affected. The purpose of the review will be to consider whether:
- Everything that can reasonably be done to alleviate the problems which local communities are raising is in fact being done, whether this involves action by the airport or by other parties most closely involved – NATS, CAA, DfT or the airlines; and;
- The approaches which Gatwick has adopted for providing information to the local community and for handling complaints are fully adequate for the task.
Nus Ghani Wealden MP welcomed the news:
I receive a huge number of complaints about aircraft noise every week, as I know Gatwick Airport does, so I am pleased that it has acknowledged the strength of feeling of many of my constituents by commissioning this review into flight paths.
As the MP for such a heavily affected area, and on a personal level as someone who has to put up with aircraft noise at home, I am keen to be closely involved with the review and look forward to being able to convey the experiences of my constituents to Gatwick in due course.
However the review will initially focus on Westerly Arrivals. Most of the planes arriving at Gatwick however make their approach over East Sussex and West Kent because the prevailing wind direction. A review of Easterly Arrivals will be undertaken as part of a second phase.
See below for links to other articles giving the background.
CORRECTION: Incorrectly the article originally said the review would initially focus on flights arriving over West Kent & East Sussex.